Everything I read these days indicates that companies are increasing their social media budgets. However, if you read closely, these people are not the people in the trenches. Most of them are consultants who are trying to show people the overwhelming value of social media. Some people even go so far to say that most people don’t have a clue when it comes to social media. These types of stories are the only stories you will consistently read about regarding social media. My point is…don’t waste your time.
Today, I spend my time on Twitter, mostly reading the news and posting some updates or fresh content. In addition, I really like Linkedin. It is here that I see the most value because I stay connected with what is happening with fellow marketers and executives. I used to spend a lot of time on these sites. Today, maybe one hour max. 5-10 minutes here and there throughout the day.
Today, it all about the following:
- Being different
- Standing for something
- Working to be an Innovative Company
- Investing in a Strong Quality Service Team
All of these statements can be summed up in the following statement:
“Start with the Right Message”
“Focus on Where You Want to Go”
“Look for Ways to Always Add Value”
Where Am I going With This?
Put “social media” in this equation above. Do you really want to use social media to deliver the right message and communicate where you want people to go? Do you want to use social media as a means to listen to people? Do you want to use social media as your one place to learn more? When I look at the numbers, social media is a small part of the equation above.
Some Areas to Consider
Connect with the right people. Do some research and check out people’s backgrounds. You will quickly eliminate a number of people on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook who more or less post everyone else’s information.
Look closer at content written by specific people. Consider signing up to receive emails from these resources that actually speak from experience and help you think deeper. Look at the people who post many updates on Twitter and Linkedin. Are they sharing their own original content or are they constantly sharing other people’s thoughts. Consider talking directly to people and learning more about the information they provide online and with their own companies. People like to be noticed and not bombarded with information blasts.
People are looking for alternatives to social media. In the first few weeks of 2016, I have received an increase number of sales calls and emails. People are not getting through on social media. Listen to people’s sales messages and read some of the email messages you are getting. People are desperate to get attention.
Where I Spend My Time
Podcasts – Read the summary first. If the summary doesn’t catch my attention, I don’t go any farther. I constantly evaluate different podcasts and try to find sites that fit more with topics I am interested in.
Talking with Other Executives Face to Face – In 2016, I have found great value in setting up meeting times over coffee to talk about business issues and get input from other people outside of my organization.
Write some thoughts, discuss those thoughts with someone for another perspective and begin to turn those thoughts and discussions into ideas and plans. For me, my best blog posts typically go through this process and it also helps me keep a focus.
Go to a bookstore and look at all the different management books. Read the summaries, note some of the books and review them more online. Keep looking to gather more information about a specific topic.
Take every opportunity to talk to customers and get their perspective. Always work at adding value to their process. Look for ways to make processes simpler for customers. The only way to do this effectively is to talk directly to customers. Try to do this effectively using social media platforms. It can be done, but it can be a lot of work.
Social Media is nice, but it is not a place to build on for the long haul. In fact, it could be sucking your time and energy without a lot of return. Even the best planning can’t guarantee results. There are many other ways to invest time and money in the hope of gaining big returns. In 2015, I learned how this process could come too much more fruition with the right focus and approach. In 2016, I hope to tell this story more and more.
There is an alternative to social media and the best thing you can do for now is start cutting back and looking at things differently. Start with some people you can trust and start the conversation of developing a new message. This really is a huge step. The other steps are much easier once you define your message. Today, decide what your message will be. (More to come on the other steps in future articles)
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